There are three great prospects in the NBA draft, and the Portland Trailblazers pick fourth. Given our current luck and leadership, I have a bad feeling about how those facts align. But nevermind, let's think positively and hope one of these guys is still on the board:
LaMarcus Aldridge, 6-11, 235, Soph, TexasThere also may be a strange silver lining in picking fourth. For some reason, players picked fourth tend to make it as pros, and some have been great. Maybe all the gambles are done by that slot, so what shows up are quality players who don't flame out (what that means vis a vis Morrison I'll leave to you). Anyway, here's a list dating back to 1991:
Aldridge has a few things going for him--he's big (and getting bigger), he's a hard worker, and by all accounts, he's a great guy. Upside: could use a franchize big man. Downside: with Joel Pryzbilla, Blazers have a serviceable big man; Aldridge is not going to be an impact player in year one.
Brandon Roy, 6-foot-6, 210 pounds, Sr., Washington
Roy is a talented guard who could immediately step in and play. At 6' 6", he has the versatility to play three positions and would be able to come in and make an immediate contribution. He's from Washington, so Blazer fans would welcome him as a hometown kid. As a senior, he's one of the more predictable prospects in the draft. Upside: could be an immediate spark and offense to a woeful team. Downside: not much.
Adam Morrison, 6-8, 200, Jr., Gonzaga
Ah, the 'stache. Ain't no one in the draft a bigger wild card than Morrison. He's got diabetes and frequently has to give himself injections in the game. He doesn't appear to know that basketball players sometimes play defense. He is enormously popular in Stumptown. Oh, and he's also freaky good putting the ball in the hole. The question is this: is he the next Larry Bird or Pete Maravich. No one has the vaguest idea. Upside: could be one of the great shooters in NBA history; very competitive. Downside: what happens when he plays in the NBA, not the West Coast Conference?
Chris PaulI'd be sorely tempted by The 'Stache, but if Roy were still on the board, I'd probably take him instead. In about four hours we'll know.
[Update: Two out of three! Hoy, what a day! And Charlotte has reportedly "lusted since February" over Adam Morrison, so good for him, too.]